A major provision of the Covenant Agreement is that landownership is limited to the indigenous Chamorros and Carolinians.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that landownership in Guam isn’t based on ethnicity but citizenship. In other words, being Chamorro isn’t a ticket to limiting landownership to locals.

Did the new ruling nullify the land alienation provision under the agreement? It’s a good issue for further research and meaningful discussion.

Every citizen is guaranteed the “right to own property…” found even in the preamble of our national constitution. We have to come to terms with a citizen’s rights. It can’t rest in the view that our rights to landownership is solely reserved for the indigenous people. This
changed in 1978 when we came under the full awning and roof of the Stars and Stripes Forever!

As much as we may disagree it is the new reality we must learn to contend with down the stretch. It would seem to me reasonable to assume that the land alienation provision is history.

The genesis of this constitutional provision emerged in 1972 when a lot of wealthy businessmen from without could easily swallow local land. It coincided with the local economy being at its lowest then. Many would have been landless if it were allowed 47 years ago.

Moreover, family land is small, so why open the door for its sale and permanent loss? You may collect some $30K for your land but then you may even end up renting an apartment built on the very land you sold, sayu? The new owner wins twice while you bite your filthy nails while pondering the origin of that strange odor coming from downstairs.

The customary form of landownership limiting land to Chamorus and Carolinians is substituted by citizenship. It’s quite different now that we’re under the Stars and Stripes Forever! Nothing is stronger than a citizen’s rights whatever he or she may be. Donning ethnicity in landownership here is history!

New wear
The use of mask has become common wear where abnormal turned normal. Either you wear it or chance contracting the deadly coronavirus. Not the time to ignore deadly pathogens!

Interesting the similarity of the fatal viral infection with the biblical plague. It has landed in the entire global community, sparing no one with its lethal tentacles. This prompted President Trump to declare a national pandemic to deal with the fatal virus.

Unfortunately, it is the elderly who are the most affected by the virus because of their reduced immunity. Make no mistake, though; it also affects babies.

State hospitals have been swamped with sick seniors the most vulnerable group. Hope the deadly virus subsides so we go past the fatal pandemic. It’s a global challenge that took even the medical community by surprise.

Segun i gaseta, guaha 15-mit na empleau guine gumagana suetdun popble. I suetdu, segun inestablesen gobietnun federat i sigiente: dos na tautau gi familia – $17,240 gi sakan; tres, $21,720; kuattru, $26,200; etc. Un` asuntu na kulan mansilensiu I Boysis hegsu` I Deni`.

Taya` ta huhuñgug planu para uma-adelanta suetdun familia pot inipus guaguan attikulun nesessidat siha guine. Mauleg ta ketuñgu` haf` planun niha. Dañkulu na sapet mafafana` ni manadan familia, diariamente.

Propiu i tiempu na u guaha maseha haf` na ayudu pot inipus chatsaga kinalamten halum guma` familia siha gi katkuet petlas.

Guaha kase 38 na estadu hokog fondun niha ya ma-e`eñgulu` si Presidente Trump pot ayudu. Dañkulu na fondu ha nesessita ya makat i para otru estadu siha para umasakrifisia nesessidat niha pot diskuidun otru. Gaige giya siha i propiu ineppe yan disision.

I fondun estadu mafattu ginen kontribusion tax ni inapasen empleau siha gi todu atmos banda. Este na asuntu `nai anog kau homlu` kinalamten ekonomian i tanu` `nai bula salape` yan cho`chu`. Puede felis hinanau-ta gi halum makat na karera mona. Mientras sige hulu` gaston obligtasion ti umafagcha` yan menus manera `nai siña ta tagam gastun gobietnamentu.

Kase propiu i tiempu `nai debi ta atan kritikatmiente haf` fuetsan fondo-ta para mona. Puede ti presisu na ta sakrifisia edukasion famaguon-ta yan hinemlu` tautau-ta siha. Dipotsihe ha` na asuntu guaha `nai sosopbla `sino finatoigue ha`ilas!

Mauleg sa` guaha ayudun food stamps. Hu hassu `nai taya` este na ayudu gi tautau-ta siha antes. `Nai manhoben ham puru kontra uttimu sakrifisiu para bai`n seda` kinanu` mame. Guaha `nai un` chage fumana` tinaya`? Un` estau `nai ni pugas taya` para sentadan familia? Malofanyu` guine na kañada mina` hu komprende haf` fina`pus popble.

Gi todu hu tuñgu` lokue` na gaige i Saina `nai halili`e pinadesen unu yan todu. `An mangagau hau gi hilu` hinimiddi siempre un` inayuda. Ni guiya tiyaña lumi`e famaguoña man-mamadese. Lau sugu` manbisita puede mas felis ha`animu!

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.
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